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17 December 2017 13:54 (South Africa)

American officials try to speak with one voice on Afghanistan

On a recent seven-hour flight from Kabul to Nato’s HQ in Brussels, General Stanley McChrystal and US ambassador Karl Eikenberry, the two most senior US officials in Afghanistan, barely spoke to each other, sources say. This was symbolic of conflicting positions over sending more US troops to Afghanistan. As a result, when they share joint appearances before US congressional committees this week looking at the Obama administration’s new Afghan strategy, they will have to inject some real energy into creating the image of unity so valued by the White House. Insiders are now saying these joint appearances will be Washington’s most eagerly watched events this week. The two have already had some intensive coaching sessions with a mock panel of congressmen to answer the obvious question: “So, tell me gentlemen, just how are you two getting along after your little disagreement over sending new troops to Afghanistan?” For more, read the New York Times

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